With glamorous designer gowns by Oscar De La Renta, Gucci and Versace, millions of dollars worth of diamonds draping necks, arms and ear lobes, spiffy starched and suave tuxedoes, a long ruby red carpet and an array of glittering star power, the 88th Annual Academy Awards are ready to explode on the big screen, the big screen of the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Center in Old Saybrook that is. On Sunday, February 28, starting at 6:30 p.m., The Kate will unroll its own red rug of royalty to welcome guests in their elegant finery to pose first of all with a real live Oscar statue and then proceed to the festivities upstairs.Hosted by WTNH’s own TV anchor Ann Nyberg and the Vice President for Public Relations and Community Investment at Comcast Kristen Roberts, you are encouraged to dress in your own Hollywood Cocktail Attire. For tickets ($75, members $65), call the Kate at 860-510-0453 or online at www.thekate.org to this gala 6th Annual Benefit for the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center. Watch the excitement live on the HD big screen, while you enter the raffle, bid at the glorious Silent Auction on such items as a Golf and Lunch Outing at the Black Hall Golf Course in Old Lyme, tickets to hear Josh Groban at Mohegan Sun on July 29, great artwork and a special “Katharine Hepburn" basket with four dozen roses, chocolates from her favorite chocolatier Mondel’s and a copy of her book “Me,” enjoy hearty hors d’oeuvres and delectable desserts courtesy of Fresh Salt at the Saybrook Point Inn and Spa and its new chef John Cortesi and a cash bar.Start making your selections now. For Best Picture, will it be a brutally honest look at the abuses in the Catholic Church captured in “Spotlight,” the tale of a brave but naive Irish lass who leaves home to cross the pond to settle in “Brooklyn,” the fierce and brutal story of a man who fights beasts and seeks revenge in “The Revenant” or an astronaut who against all odds proclaims his courage in “The Martian?” Also up for recognition are a political thriller, a real estate and financial scheme, a futuristic adventure and a compelling drama of kidnapping and survival.For leading man, could the choice be Bryan Cranston as the screen writer who stands up to Senator McCarthy in “Trumbo,” Michael Fassbender as the aggressively arrogant computer genius “Steve Jobs” or Eddie Redmayne as the courageously transformative Lili in “The Danish Girl?” Will the Oscar go to Cate Blanchett in the times defying and defining film “Carol,” Brie Larson as the woman held captive for seven years and the son she bears in “Room” or Charlotte Rampling as the trauma-confronting wife who faces disturbing revelations in “45 Years?”Other categories include best supporting actor and actress, best animated featured film, cinematography, costume design, directing, documentary, film editing, makeup and hair, music score and song and the list rolls on in 24 distinct categories.Come to The Kate and hand select your hopeful list of contenders, including that great former contender Rocky, now captured by Sylvester Stallone in “Creed.” Actor Chris Rock will do the honors, for the second time, after 2005.At this private and special tribute evening, you will have a chance to hold your own Oscar statuette, courtesy of Art Carney’s nephew Devin Carney who will also serve as master of ceremonies. His uncle won the coveted award way back in 1974 for his portrayal of Harry Coombes, who takes his cat Tonto and travels cross country after his Manhattan apartment is demolished in “Harry and Tonto.” According to the Kate’s new Executive Director Brett Elliott, “The Kate’s Oscar Party continues to be a highlight of our year. With 4 Oscars and 12 nominations, how can we not celebrate our legendary namesake. As we do every year we look forward to creating a memorable night for all, and this year we are excited to extend some new surprises mixed in with the festivities of five incredible years gone by.”The Dolby Theatre in Hollywood will be ablaze with celebrities as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences salutes its finest and The Kate will have its own share of star power capable of a high gloss shine. Come add to the glow! It’s guaranteed to be first rate at The Kate!